Each academic college may nominate one outstanding thesis and one outstanding dissertation.

The Graduate College Awards Committee will review and rate all nominations. The awards committee will assign each thesis and dissertation into one of two broad categories based upon the Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation award competition. Category 1 will include social sciences, humanities and fine arts. Category 2 will include biological sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, health sciences and engineering.


Eligible projects for this year's Outstanding Thesis and Outstanding Dissertation awards are those successfully defended between August 1, 2021, and August 1, 2022. Nominations are due to the Graduate College by December 1st 2022. Students see your college for their application deadline.

The College Dean's office will submit their nomination via the online form. The Dean/Associate Dean of each respective College/School will provide signature and approve the one nominee on the form. The nominations package must include:

  • A PDF of the final, formatted and approved document (thesis or dissertation)
  • A letter of nomination from the student's faculty mentor or department chair


In each category there is a $2,000 prize for the author of the Outstanding Dissertation, and a $1,500 prize for the author of the Outstanding Thesis. Winners will be announced in Spring and recognized at the UNLV Academic Recognition Ceremony & at the Graduate College Awards Ceremony. See a list of past winners.